A Beautiful Biography

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photo by Casey ( I think )

The Beauty Recognizers are / were  :

George " Ignatius "  Henderson - bass , guitars , vocals       Jon Hughes - guitars , bass        Jeffry Shannon - drums , ' mercy .. ' , & percussion    

Alan Sangma - verse & bass           Mark Florin - Ambient Technology

In brief :

Their experience was born in the basement of Egg 's landlady , whom he had rented a trailer from back in the summer of ’94.

Empire Studios in Vernon , Ca  , was the their first time in a professional studio.

The heat , the smell of death , Jeff 's VW bus , tons of smoke and beer, and just three guys trying to work out a sound. Those are fonder images and memories of those fucked up towns and times . The songs that developed during this period of time (ex. no , like this ... ), were far stronger than what made it to tape. Improves and jams at 2 AM ; surrounded by grunge and death rock down the halls. This period of time is highlighted mostly by Jeff’ s writing ability, versatility, and his abilities to exercise taste, in both the soft and hard spots. He also wrote a third of the bands materiel, which unfortunately, never made it down to tape during this time. The tune Grommet , during a couple performances, was the crowd stopper. Besides, Patrick Brayer seemed to appreciate the Redlands based sound, and gave it air play ; go figure ? As for the present, Herr Hughes now produces and writes in San Francisco ( successfully ) , while Mr. Shannon happily lives with a Mrs. Shannon , and he also writes and plays in San Francisco as well .

We all patiently await the future……


The early formation of the group :

It becomes hard to think where the whole experience began . I remember running into Egg ( Jon Hughes ) at some point after I had quite the Bad Hair Day back in 1993 . We were hanging out at the Fleur de Lis cafe , and Egg was showing me this new '56 Gibson he had just bought . We hooked up , learned a few tunes and spot -lighted at a couple of open mic nights with the help of a guy named Lee Clark and his VW fast back .

Sometime after that we began writing songs together and acquired a drummer , Wanda Howard ( also formally of BHD ) . Egg played drums , but was more into the   idea of switching off on guitar and bass with myself . We practiced a couple of times , and with a short set of material I had written , we headed of for a spot on Patrick Brayer 's Starvation Cafe Radio Archives . It was a great time and we even had people calling up with names ( ie. The Tall Scabs , Mr. Bungle ) . Patrick suggested  ' The Beauty Recognizers ' at some point which I later dubbed the project , after I had assembled the volume of work ( 1995 -1996 ) .  Wanda quite shortly there afterwards , at the bequest of Egg and a stout drug habit which was brewing for her at the time ( fini ) .

We then recruited a drummer Egg knew by the name of Brett Cardamon ( Ska -mod boy ) . We played two gigs with him under the name Red Heaven ( ala Throwing Muses ) . One at the now closed down cafe ' The Haven ' and a short stint for a toy drive at the Barn in Riverside . Patrick Brayer and Electrolux were on the bill . Hardly anybody showed with toys and Brett about humped the singer of the other band   off of the stage practically. ( hint : it wasn 't Pat ) . Exit Brett ...

So here we are , Egg and I , getting real ' peculiar ' and trying to figure out what in the hell we can do to pull this thing off . I can 't remember if it was Egg or Damon who suggested hooking up with Jeff . Jon had played in a group called Milton 's Cafe and later in a project called the Dullards . In Redlands you see , it 's somewhat incestuous , so far as everybody in a band  jams with somebody else 's band at some point . Jeff had been playing for the Dullards but had quite , and was floating around . According to him , my former band mates had even tried a recruitment scam on him as well . Egg and I were the lucky ones . All it took was one jam session with this guy and the magic was there . Every break , every punch ... I can look back now and laugh because the music that I was writing then was so damn simple and kitsch , and here comes this guy and just blows my fucking mind . Needless to say , we were in business from that point on .


1995 : the year of Vernon

So as time had it , we jammed about three to four months in Jon 's landlady 's basement . Her daughter , Bella , would dance on the roof for group support . Those we 're really cool days . I was working for Saturn at the time and buying equipment left and right because all the gear we had was shit pretty much . We even had one ceremony to retire this God awful piece -of -crap base amp we had . Y 'know like kicking in the cone , gutting and burning the electronics ...  We banged our heads for a decent band name . We were still playing as Red Heaven at the time and landed two or three gigs under that name and were looking for a vocalist at that time as well .

I still have a U.S.S. Budweiser hat from this guy that was totally coal -cocked by one of Jeff 's bouncer friends at this gig in a dinky ass coffee house we played .This guy got real belligerent at some point , at which time Jeff 's friend tells him to shut up . He doesn 't and WHACK ! Down he goes , and  his head bounces a couple of times of the concrete floor in the coffee house . We tried to keep playing because we we 're really pissed at the guy and thought he got what he deserved . So when the blood started oozing we broke down and called for paramedics . We got $20 for the gig .

( I think it was about this time Redlands got it 's current attitude towards coffee houses .)

So about two or three weeks after the incident , we decide to change or name to no , like this ... ( via Jeff 's idea ) , and we packed up his bus and headed for a place we had lined up in Vernon , LA . Ever been to Vernon ? Meat packing , death metal recording capital of the west coast ? This guy that at the studio was a real jewel , let me tell ya . I think once or twice we showed up and then he never did !! Needless to say , we got the deal of the century for the recording . I can 't disclose the amount because he did do good work and I don 't want to ruin his future come back plans . I really can 't describe everything that happened to us . It was the first real studio experience any of us had . We knew how to work our equipment and the sound , but there are some moments that you really can 't steal , no matter how hard you try .

So , at any rate , we recorded a number of tunes , 8 in all . Four of them made it onto the album , the others I keep in limbo waiting for the right timing . We survived the whole experience , only to gig a couple more times after that if any . At some point we we 're recruiting singers . I developed a , shall we say ' a fondness ' for one , and somehow the other never worked out . We did manage one more live stint for Pat 's radio show .

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Phelan and the cancer growth

I think it was sometime after the whole Phelan experience in the high desert here in Southern California , that we started drifting a bit . Egg and I were having a hard time getting along , and two other members were brought in at the time , turning the band into a five piece . John Baez and a guy by the name of Ken Seth . I boned out shortly there afterwards and gave a hand to Jeff a time or two for what later developed into a project with him and John . Egg left after a couple of gigs with those guys for whatever reason and that was that . I think John and Jeff called themselves Ching -is or Garlic at some point . Now they jam up in San Francisco under a name I 'm not aware of . Last I heard of Egg , he was working on Soundtracks and Hip -hop projects . This all came came to be somewhere in-between late 1996 -1997 .

I had started work on other recording projects with Alan Sangma and Thomas Bates ( songwriter / voice of BHD ) at that time  . Two of the tunes I wrote with Alan then later made it onto the Beauty Recognizers CD . I had worked with him countless times since the days at the Fleur de Lis cafe . With him it was in the vein of writing music to spoken word , and I believe we had a good go at it . Tom and I began writing music and re -establishing the Bad Hair Day . That brought me to the home of Mark Florin , as I was seeking out collaborators and tech wizards at the time . I had played a couple of gigs during this lull and had spot lighted once or twice on Patrick 's radio show . I wrote the Martian Food Riots of 2079 and What I do during that phase . I had moved twice during this whole escapade , and wound up living with an old time friend of the band Jon Powell , at Eggs old flat ( he had moved to SF by this time ) . Everything thing that happened after this seemed to me to feel like a cancer growth , because I felt like the guy carrying the load , whether it be with Tom or anybody else who needed my help or equipment . So to relieve a bit of that tension I started drinking pretty heavily . Wanda was in the middle of a full blown smack habit and I had even thrown her out of my house at some point ( Little did I know that I would only talk to her once more before she cleaned up her act and still managed to go driving off of Mount Baldy ) .The relationship I shared with Jeff was also becoming strained by now . I think that I managed to set up one last gig for everyone with a Toys for  Tots benefit . It featured Patrick Brayer, Mark 's band Second Culture , Jeff 's band Garlic and myself . My set was completely hacked to shit for what ever reason , but the rest of the gig went on without much of a hitch . That was the last time I ever played a gig prior to going to Scotland to play in May 1997 .



Well , as time flies along , I can look back and laugh . They say if you can 't do that , you 're screwed . All in all , I believe that the no , like this ... CD represents a great time and lesson for all the parties involved . There are no more places to play here in Redlands and trying to make anything happen again seems to fall short of the times and experiences I shared with these people . I think that we 're all a little wiser and older now . Patrick and Jeff both got married , Jeff plays in a couple of bands , his best being Rumah Sakit . Egg wound up doing what he wanted to do , he plays in various projects , Tarentel being his main gig . Alan is writing and playing great music in the area , Mark is doing his thing , and as for me , well I 've got a new project and archive in the works . The music that we all write now , I believe , far exceeds that which is offered on the disc . But the music represents a time long past in this town . Nobody seems to remember what bands existed five years ago around here , but for some stupid reason , you may run across the occasional pot -head or stripper who says ,                                                                 " " Hey , I remember you and that band ...  "

Until then :

xxoo iggy